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Original Author: Moore, Todd
Date of Material: 05/16/1996

Subjects(s):
Elections--Residency requirements

Voting in City Elections by Non-Residents Who Own Property in the City Limits

Reviewed Date: 07/21/2021
Summary:
MTAS was asked whether non-residents who own property in the city limits could vote in city elections.


May 29, 1996

You asked whether non-residents who own property in the city limits could vote in city elections. The answer is no. As a general rule, non-resident property owners do not have a right to vote unless specifically authorized under their city's charter. Non-resident voting rights may not be granted by ordinance.

Your city is incorporated under the general law manager-commission charter (Tennessee Code Annotated, §6-18-101 et seq). The general law manager-commissioner charter doesn't grant non-resident voting rights except in certain cities that fall within specified population classifications according to a United States census (see Tennessee Code Annotated § 6-20-106). Your city does not fall within one of these classifications.

In order to have non-resident voting rights in your city, the General Assembly would have to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, § 6-20-106 to allow for such rights in a city with your population.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance in this or any other matter.

Sincerely,

Todd Moore
MTAS Legal Consultant

TM/